June 27, 2017


Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard today visited the Berry Street School in Sebastopol to learn about the difference the Navigator program is making for young people who have returned to school after previously disengaging from their education.

“The $8.6 million Navigator pilot program was launched last year to help reduce the number of students leaving school early and is being piloted across eight areas of Victoria,” Mr Howard said.

“Delivered locally by Berry Street and assisted by Uniting Care and Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative – 18 young people in our region have returned to education at 15 schools since the program commenced late last year.

“A further five students are on track to re-commence school at the beginning of Term 3.

“We know that many young people face barriers that can cause them to disengage from school.

“This program provides a range of counselling and support services to help them overcome these challenges, to get back on track with their education so they can achieve their best.

“The results speak for themselves and that’s why I’m pleased the Andrew’s Labor Government reaffirmed its commitment to the Navigator program in our recent budget, with the inclusion of an additional $7.8 million to extend the pilot until December 2018.”

Warrick Remilton Deputy Director, Berry Street Western Region said he was pleased that the Andrews Government has extended funding for the program.

“This additional investment will make a huge difference to the lives of young people who may otherwise slip through the cracks without this support,” Mr Remilton said.

“We are now able to recruit an additional caseworker which will help us reach out to many more young people who face barriers to their schooling.”